Interview with Pustulus Maximus/Guitar | By Angela Kinzie
Hadad’s Lake – the iconic Richmond, Va. water park – was the site of the Fifth Annual GWAR-B-Q, where the weekend of Aug. 15 and 16 was devoted entirely to GWAR, BBQ, GWAR Beer, and some intense metal.
With over 5,000 people in attendance – breaking previous years’ records – GWAR-B-Q carried on the tradition, despite the loss of GWAR’s only remaining founding member, vocalist Dave Brockie – the beloved Oderus Urungus – who passed away in March of this year.
Grief became celebration as headliners The Meatmen, Hatebreed, Body Count, and The Misfits honored Brockie’s memory, voicing their support and love for his friends, fans, and the extreme mightiness that is GWAR.
Iron Reagan, Occultist, Noisen, and Loincloth were amongst the second stage bands, flawlessly alternating sets with the headliners, leaving only seconds between aggressions.
Prior to the festival, the GWAR community came together on Friday night to memorialize Brockie’s life and music. Oderus Urungus was given a true Viking funeral, with Urungus’s body – Brockie’s costume – being placed on a small boat and set ablaze by an archer’s flaming arrow, where it burned and sank into Hadad’s Lake.
Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe, creator of the FEARnet show “Holliston” Adam Green, and “punk rock loudmouth” – as GWAR phrased it – Jello Biafra were among those who spoke at the public memorial.
On Instagram, Blythe made the statement: “Tonight we sent Oderus home in a fitting manner at the public memorial for Dave Brockie. A blazing Viking ship with Oderus laid out in it, the cuttlefish pointing proudly straight up. Watching my friend Dave’s costume go up in flames in front of a thousand fans was so much more intense for me than the private memorial for friends and family we had on April Fool’s Day. I spoke at both, as GWAR asked me to, and both times as I spoke I was sad. But watching his alter-ego burn tore me up way more than the first memorial, maybe because there was Dave the human who was my friend who just “left us” – I never saw his body – and then there was Oderus, who was something entirely else. To watch his stage gear burn was like watching part of my life literally go up in flames. I was sobbing my eyes out as I took this photo. It was just a super-intense moment. Very beautiful, but overwhelming. Fly free, Oderus – you are missed.”
Adam Green – whose show “Holliston” Oderus regularly appeared on – told the crowd that Brockie “was also a guy who appreciated you, his fans, more than you will ever, ever, ever know. What Dave the tattooed heavily metal badass probably wouldn’t want you to know is that he was such a sweet guy that he never missed an opportunity to tell you that he loved you.” Green then played a voicemail Brockie left two weeks before his death, sending his love to Green, as well as his friends and family.
For the GWAR that will carry on, GWAR-B-Q was the band’s first show minus Oderus, bringing forth the unveiling of Blothar – known to fans as the original “Beefcake The Mighty” – who will assume the job of vocalist.
On the future of GWAR, Pustulus Maximus growled loudly: “GWAR is carrying on because we’ve got nothing better to do! We have habits to support. Shit ain’t cheap!”
And what was Pustulus’s view on this year’s festival?
“It’s been very disturbing. It’s a very disturbing reaction. It fills me with great grievance and sadness that people are smiling and hugging and enjoying themselves and banding together for some unknown reason. I don’t understand it; it makes me fuckin’ sick. I don’t want anybody to be fucking happy. They should all feel like I feel, just miserable and disobedient and stoical. In life, there’s nothing but death and darkness and the fact there’s any joy left in this world is deplorable!”
Despite the aliens’ view of the humans and their reaction, GWAR themselves summed it up in writing on their virtual connection with our world, declaring: “Hail Oderus! Hail Flattus! Hail GWAR!!!”